Dr Mel Nowicki

Reader in Urban Geography

School of Law and Social Sciences

Mel Nowicki


I am a Reader in Urban and Social Geography, with research interests in: 

  • Critical geographies of home;
  • Housing inequality;
  • Family and hidden homelessness;
  • Urban precarity;
  • Austerity politics;
  • Shrinking living space, e.g. Tiny Housing

In 2017 I completed my PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London. My thesis focused on the impact of two UK housing policies, the bedroom tax and the criminalisation of squatting. 

More recent research projects have explored:

  • The role of pop-up and modular housing techniques in the provision of social housing for formerly homeless families in London and Dublin;
  • The rise of Tiny Housing as a solution to housing crises in Austin, Texas;
  • How shrinking domestic life is manifesting across the globe;
  • Experiences of homelessness, temporary accommodation and debt in Greater Manchester among women who are single parents

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • GEOG4001. Introduction to Human Geography
  • GEOG5001. Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience
  • GEOG5003. Advanced Research Skills
  • GEOG6004. Future Cities
  • GEOG6012. Geography Dissertation
  • GEOG6015. Sustainable Futures


Research grants and awards

  • 2022-2023. Navigating Debt-trap Urbanism in Pandemic Times: Family Homelessness and Temporary Accommodation in Greater Manchester. Urban Studies Foundation Pandemics and Cities Grant. Co-Investigator.

  • 2021-2023. Shrinking Domesticities: Towards a global research agenda on urban micro-living. Urban Studies Foundation Seminar Series Award. Principal Investigator.

  • 2020-2023. Tiny Homes, Big Promises: Exploring the Emerging Geographies of Tiny House Developments in Austin, Texas. British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant. Principal Investigator.
  • 2018-2020. Enhancing housing affordability and social care in Japan and the UK: Comparative evaluation of policy and practice. ESRC-AHRC UK-Japan SSH Connections Grant . Co-Investigator.
  • 2018-20. Research Excellence & Impact Award, Oxford Brookes University. Principal Investigator.
  • 2017-2018: Home at Last? Life in Dublin's Rapid Build HousingDublin City Council . Co-Investigator
  • 2016-2017: Research Strategy Grant, Royal HollowayPrecarious Lives, Pop-up Solutions? Resident insights from PLACE/Ladywell, London.Co-Investigator


Research group membership

I am Co-Lead of the Oxford Brookes Sustainable and Resilient Futures Research Network

Research impact

I engage regularly with the media. I have written for The Guardian, and been interviewed on Irish national radio and Inside Housing's ''The Housing Podcast''

Centres and institutes




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